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Groningen draw with Ajax 2-2 in Dutch opener

08-09-2010 10:41 BJT

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FC Groningen rallied from two-nil down to draw two-all at home to Ajax, in the teams' opening match of the Dutch Eredivisie season.

Pieter Huistra led Groningen for the first time and Ajax were missing Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Both sides had chances in the opening 10 minutes. First, Nicklas Pedersen just failed to connect with Leandro Bacuna's volley for the hosts.

Then Ajax midfielder Siem De Jong showed some early-season rustiness as he failed to beat Brazilian keeper Luciano when well placed.

The first period ended without a goal, but just five minutes of the second half had elapsed when Ajax broke through. A long punt forward by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was nodded on and debutant Mounir El Hamdaoui scored superbly with the outside of his foot.

The 26-year-old doubled the visitors' advantage just after the hour-mark, again displaying the talent that made him the league's top marksman two seasons ago. This time, El Hamdaoui's finish followed a pass from Ajax captain Demy De Zeeuw.

In the 72nd minute, Slovenian forward Tim Matavz - on as a second-half substitute - found the net after a smart pull-back by Dusan Tadic. Huistra's men kept pressing and the effort paid off with four minutes left.

Stekelenburg made a fine save from Swedish defender Fredrik Stenman following a corner, but Danish forward Nicklas Pedersen pounced on the rebound, finding the net off the left post. It ended 2-2.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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